Like Pope Francis, author Charles Camosy agrees that it is our cultural consumerism that is contributing to a “throwaway” mentality extending toward human beings.
The opposite of throwaway culture, Camosy suggests, is to “live out a counterculture of responsibility, encounter, and hospitality.”
Here is my summary of some of his main proposals:
1. Put our families first.
2. Create living situations conducive to interdependence.
3. Support the wellbeing of large families and extended families to cultivate greater adaptability, sacrifice, and resilience.
4. “Refuse to have family members cared for by robots.” [or other forms of technology. E.g., Apple watches.]
5. Volunteer in retirement homes and long-term care centres to show kindness through companionship and to bear witness to others of the value of these persons in our communities.
6. Invite those who may never (or almost never) have contact with persons with vulnerabilities to encounter them and to be transformed by this encounter.
7. Advocate for those working to serve the vulnerable to be not only adequately compensated but also more greatly respected and acknowledged for their work in the service to the common good.
The opposite of throwaway culture is a culture of reverence, a culture that cherishes particularly what is of supreme and incalculable value – the human person.